Police are bracing for Saturday’s “Justice for J6 rally,” being planned by a nonprofit group led by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Braynard.
The goal, Braynard has said, is to peacefully demand that charges against nonviolent Jan. 6 protesters be dropped. Braynard claims those protesters “reasonably believed” they had permission to enter the Capitol. About 700 rallygoers are expected to attend.
Trump has not announced plans to attend or otherwise participate Saturday. In an interview with the Federalist on Thursday, Trump called the planned rally a “setup.”
“On Saturday, that’s a setup,” Trump told the conservative outlet. “If people don’t show up they’ll say, ‘Oh, it’s a lack of spirit.’ And if people do show up, they’ll be harassed.”
Contrary to Trump’s claims, no evidence has emerged of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential race.
A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential win, the worst attack on the seat of democracy since the War of 1812. Hundreds were arrested after the violent insurrection that injured more than 140 members of law enforcement and resulted in the deaths of five people. More than 600 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the riot.
Amy B Wang contributed to this report.